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46

Back to the Fuze, Round Robin Style

I've been using the Fuze for over a week now, so it's well-past time for me to put my thoughts down on video for the Smartphone Round Robin. Towards the end you'll see me go on about how it's nice that I can switch between the Fuze and the Q9h with relative ease and that's no joke: in my gear bag right now I have both. The Q9h is great for one-handed messaging, the Fuze is good for pretty much everything else. Both are solid choices, but neither is perfect for everybody.

Anyhow, the thing that's been hammered home for me about Windows Mobile this year is that the UI needs to be more discoverable. For example, last night I was out with Casey of Android Central and Rene of TiPb and discovered that neither of them knew about the email type-to-filter feature, one of my favorite things about WM. They hadn't run across this great feature even though both were actively reviewing the phone and trying to learn as much about it as possible for the Smartphone Round Robin. I wish I knew how to make WM's featureset more discoverable -- if I did, I'd certainly let Microsoft know.

The answer's definitely not pop-up tips, either. Frankly, MS does do a pretty good job of this by showing you a message on-screen the first time you try to auto-filter your inbox.

I'll sign off and let the video above do the talking -- saving the rest of my thoughts for the full review / return to Windows Mobile. Meanwhile, you best lay your comment down on this post if you're interested in winning a Fuze of your very own and a Celio Redfly to accompany it.

Update: Yeah, how about we turn comments on?  Thanks for the tip there, Bubbatex.

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Reader comments

Back to the Fuze, Round Robin Style

46 Comments

I wouldn't mind having a Fuze to try out.

Right now, I must agree that the Q9h is my goto device. Although I have two BJIIs, an HTC TyTn(modded w/wm6.1) and an old 3125, I still find myself going back to the Q9h time after time 'cause it just works and works very well.

Kevin and I think you're a "lisan al gaib" level mega-supra-genius or something who can look at places we dare not look and find TouchFlo3D staring back at you, compelled to do your bidding.

That, or you sent us a special version that would be "funnier".

For this reason, I personally don't recommend winmo phones to anyone I know who are not technically inclined. No matter how much you try to cover it up, it's still pretty complicated. As Rene mentioned in one of the round robins, you don't need to read the manual (or search the web) to do something with an iphone.
Of course, I still think the Fuze is the best smartphone available to date.

Thanks for the great video review! I am now seriously leaning toward upgrading my Tilt.

I am thinking hard about a Touch Pro and I do agree that the email filter is a great feature. There are many but unless you frequent forums, you may never learn to use a WM device to its full potential. Sad.

Great round up. I aggree with the above poster that WM is a better os for the technically inclined, but a powerfull OS none the less. thanks for showing how good it can be when you spend a little time getting to know it.

I have to agree that WinMo is not for the non-technically inclined consumer. Then again most smart phones if they are powerful require some training. Having a BB Curve for Work a WinMo phone for personal use and an iPod Touch (basically an iPhone) I have to say to use any of them required some digging around. My biggest problem with all 3 platforms is they each focus on 1 feature to be the best at. iTouch is media, BB is messaging, and WinMo is customize to your heart's content. WinMo is still my favorite and clearly the most powerful of all the platforms.

I tested this device for the company i interned for and i was very impressed with it. I liked it so much and it was such a hit with everybody it became the new standard winmo device for the company. Its really a hit out of the ballpark for HTC and ATT.

Having just purchased the Fuze to upgrade my beaten to death Tilt, I have a few observations on the device. Having started with the OLD Pocket PCs of old, I'm quite familiar with the whole WinMo world, and have understood it's short comings for years. The iPhone could never do what I needed, and BlackBerries are great if you just message (such as my wife). My favorite phone to date, was the Q9h with 6.1 loaded on it. Absolutely the best keyboard, and most brilliant screen (the BB 9000 may be better now) however, I needed a touch screen and the tilt filled the niche.

The Fuze is great, but I miss the dedicated camera button, and absolutely DESPISE the D-pad on the Fuze. Otherwise, it is a far superior phone, and is quickly becoming my all time favorite once I got the junky ATT rom off of it.

My request is, keep useable buttons, and give me a bigger screen! I love the VGA as I was spoiled for years with a Dell Axim x51v, but only the Blackstone (Touch HD) has a screen that is comperable, but no North American 3G radio? Seriously, HTC please market for the world and not just europe.

Mix the Fuze keyboard and performance, with the Blackstone screen and IMHO we'll have the perfect platform to work with. With WinMo 6.5 coming, I can't help but wonder if the Fuze will benefit from it.

All in all, I highly recommend this phone. It just misses the perfect mark, which all seem to do.

In addition to my above comment, I wanted to add that for the tilt users that are tired of typing fast on the keyboard and having lag (especially in SMS) before the characters are displayed on screen, this is a non issue on the Fuze. Major plus in my book.

I've been toying with the idea of upgrading my tilt to the fuze - if for nothing else the additional memory and VGA graphics (my eye's just aren't what they used to be). Thanks for an informative review. I've used RIM, Palm, WM since the Axim 5, and iPhone - they do all have their strenghts, but WM is the platform I keep coming back to. Nothing else out there in my opinion is as powerful or configurable.

Note to wife: if you're reading this - I'm perfectly happy with my tilt and would not think of upgrading it unless there were a physical failure, or it were lost, or video drivers aren't released by HTC next week :)

Don

So you'll be ordering a Fuze soon, as HTC I think has forgotten about the Tilt.

No problem about the review, having been a PDA user for years, and finding the limitations of every device I've owned, I like to share my findinds.

Good luck with the wife! I had to promise mine a BB 9000 to do the upgrade to mine.

Loved the vidieo. Confirms why I like front face keyboard like my Palm Treo 800W or the Moto Q9c.
Choice is good, I am glad we are not stuck with one form factor..

Nice video. And wow! @ the SPB Mobile Shell! Especially the menu with those big-@ss icons. I'm diggin' that. Pretty cool! I've heard & read about it mentioned a lot in my daily Fuze/Phone Nerd searches (Yes I'm a proud phone nerd) but I've never actually seen SPB in action. I think I'd prefer that to TF3D as well. TF is pretty fer-sure but I see a definite disconnect between it and WM.

i really can.not.wait until I get myself a Fuze to tweek & play with!

If anything sells the Touch Pro to me it's, the sharp VGA screen, RAM and fast processor. I don't care much for using my phone (or even my iPod) to watch videos or play games. The great specs and WinMo 6.1 do it for me, and having gotten to play with one recently, the device fits great in the hand.

I would LOVE to try one of the newer devices out, as of right now I'm on the original touch. Although I do have nice hardware in my Dell Axim x51, I would love to have a PHONE with some of the features I've seen on newer devices such as this one (slide-out keyboard, TouchFlo3, and that nice graphics processor namely) as my actual phone!

The axim + phone would have been a wonderful phone... I'd live with an OSK and a bluetooth fold up one if they would do it.

Being a long time Windows Mobile user, I more or less knew what to expect with the Fuze and Dieter's video really does show just how powerful Windows Mobile really is...and just how good the Fuze is once you understand the TouchFlo 3D way of doing things.

Still I'm not a huge TouchFlo 3D fan, just doesn't seem to add much to the overall usability of Windows Mobile, other than eye candy.

I find it much easier for one handed operation with a finger or thumb... A big plus in my book as hardly ever being able to be in one place very long.

I like TF3D a lot, but don't love it. The video shows the strength of Spb Mobile shell - how easy and quickly everything can be accessed, and the at-a-glance homescreen that contains a ton of pertinent info - and I'd like to see HTC implement some of this stuff into future iterations of TouchFlo or whatever they come up with next. I'll still use TF3D because it's too sexy not to use, but it's not perfect.

Which is the key to our WinMo devices... We can choose our interface for what works best for us. I haven't seen an iPhone or blackberry do that yet. Yes, WinMo needs a facelift and overhaul, but at least I can choose how I want the main interface to look.

wm is a bit complicated to use. it can't hurt to be a little more user-friendly. other than that i really have nothing else to complain about

Well everytime I see a different review on a differnt device. I see some things I like and some things I dont like about each of these devices. It would be nice if one device would somehow have thiungs I like about each device rolled up into one but that is not a happening thing. You guys have made me like the fuze a little more each time i see a review and I think I could live with it but it would take some getting used to.

Fuze and q9h in your bag? Aren't you supposed to be fuze exclusive for your time in the round robin?....tisk tisk

Nice review. I can't decide between this phone and the G1. Both are attractive for their own reasons.

Great review, thanks for showing off TouchFlo3D. I couldnt help but notice the lag when you switched from landscape mode or to it. Crying shame.

Has anyone ever seen a television commercial for this model type? I just saw one for the Touch, but not the Touch Pro. TV viewers are bombarded with iPhone and Blackberry Storm commercials.

That review makes me want to run out and buy a Fuze right now - thanks for restoring my faith in the Fuze, Dieter! I knew there was an awesome phone in there somewhere, just waiting to be let out.

Only a few hours left till we know whether Palm's new vertical slider thing blows all these others out of the water or turns out to be much ado about nothing. I can't wait to find out!

As my Treo 750 is on its last legs, I would love to replace it with another WM device, instead of having to switch to yet another OS (nova?). So put me down to win the Fuze please.

I know it's not possible to do EVERYTHING in a review but, does anyone have experience with the video out function or the gravity sensor function on a Fuze and want to comment them?

The "g-sensor" is very well done, and with the proper programs for rotation (i use gyrator) it really makes it seemless...

Honestly, the auto sensing backlight, once you ramp up the polling speed and change the range of which it will darken/brighten the backlight is one of the nicest features of the phone.

I'm just getting in one last post for good measure. Dieter, thanks for all your hard work. I can't wait to hear more about your thoughts on the Pre!

I have reviewed both AT&T's Fuze and Sprint's Touch Pro. These are basically the same device with minor differences with vend add-on software.

I miss the dedicated buttons that are found on the Tilt and Mogul. Even if you didn't like the predetermined use of the physical buttons, it was nice that you could remap them to any desired application or function. Our business users would like more Today screen options - especially options that would display the calendar in different formats and varying levels of detail.

As part of our standard image we included several cities in the weather application that are important to our company. Surely Microsoft/HTC could have added the capability to allow users to enter a zip code, the city name, or even the accuweather code. Unfortunately, you have to load a few 3rd party programs to hack around and add cities to the weather application.

Sprint also has the non-keyboard version available - the Touch Diamond. I believe that AT&T will also have a non-keyboard model available in the United States, but I have not seen this yet.

Thanks,

I would love to try a Fuze for a day or two to see if it's something I would like to have. I have a quick question, that screen that is depicted here after you turned off TouchFLO 3D. Do all those menus come native today screen or is that a 3rd party app you have to download to get?

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I can testify pretty confident that when it comes to reliability and the ease of messaging with a QWERTY keyboard can not beat Blackberry. Believe me, I tried some WinMo QWERTY PDA and acted to get my BB.